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Monday, September 29, 2008

John 3:16, new book by N. Moser!


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

John 3:16

Tyndale House Publishers (September 9, 2008)

by

Nancy Moser



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nancy Moser is the author of three inspirational humor books and eighteen novels, including Solemnly Swear, Time Lottery, a Christy Award winner, and her latest historical, Washington's Lady.

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters,
symphonies, and choirs. She gives Said So Sister Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included.

Find out more at Nancy Moser.com and Sister Circles.com


ABOUT THE BOOK

Five people looking for a reason to keep living are about to find it in the last place they expect... In my usual "big cast" style comes a story of what happens when one man puts his faith on the line and holds up a John 3:16 sign at a sporting event. Roman Paulson's life revolves around his son, Billy, a University of Nebraska football hero with a promising life ahead of him. But when Billy's coach encroaches on Roman's relationship with his son, Roman fears he'll lose Billy forever. Roman isn't the only one whose world turns upside down. He's one of five unsuspecting people whose lives intersect on a bright fall day.

If you would like to read the first chapter of John 3:16, go HERE

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The 2008 ACFW winners are...

Congrats!

Debut Author
1. Sushi for One? (Camy Tang) Zondervan, Sue Brower
2. Bayou Justice (Robin Miller writing as Robin Caroll)
3. In Between (Jenny B. Jones)

Contemporary Novella
1. Finally Home (Deborah Raney) Barbour Publishing, Susan Downs
2. Moonlight & Mistletoe (Carrie Turansky)
3. Remaking of Moe McKenna (Gloria Clover)

Historical Novella
1. Love Notes in Love Letters Anthology (Mary Davis) Barbour Publishing, Rebecca Germany
2. Beyond the Memories (DiAnn Mills)
3. The Spinster & The Tycoon (Vickie McDonough)

Lits
1. Splitting Harriet (Tamara Leigh) Multnomah Books, Julee Schwarzburg
2. Sushi for One? (Camy Tang)
3. One Little Secret (Allison Bottke) & The Book of Jane (Anne Dayton & May Vanderbilt)

Long Contemporary
1. Within This Circle (Deborah Raney) Steeple Hill Books, Krista Stroever
2. Like Always (Robert Elmer)
3. Autumn Blue (Karen Harter)

Long Historical
1. Veil of Fire (Marlo Schalesky) RiverOak, editors Jeff Dunn/Jon Woodhams
Where Willows Grow (Kim Vogel Sawyer) Bethany House, editor Charlene Patterson
2. Fancy Pants (Cathy Marie Hake) & Then Came Hope (Louise Gouge)
3. Courting Trouble (Deeanne Gist)

Mystery
1. Your Chariot Awaits (Lorena McCourtney) Thomas Nelson, Amanda Bostic
2. Death of a Garage Sale Newbie (Sharon Dunn)
3. Sticks And Stones (Susan Meissner)

Short Contemporary
1. The Heart of Grace (Linda Goodnight) Steeple Hill Love Inspired, Allison Lyons
2. Heart of the Family (Margaret Daley)
3. Wedded Bliss (Kathleen Y’Barbo)

Short Contemporary Suspense
1. Caught Redhanded (Gayle Roper) Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense, Krista Stroever
2. Pursuit of Justice (Pamela Tracy)
3. Nowhere to Hide (Debby Giusti) & Her Christmas Protector (Terri Reed)

Short Historical
1. Canteen Dreams (Cara Putman) & Golden Days (Mary Connealy)Barbour/Heartsong Presents, JoAnne Simmons
2. A Wealth Beyond Riches (Vickie McDonough)
3. A Time to Keep (Kelly Eileen Hake)

Speculative
1. The Restorer’s Son (Sharon Hinck) NavPress, Reagan Reed
2. Demon: A Memoir (Tosca Lee)
3. DragonFire (Donita Paul)

Suspense
1. Black Ice (Linda Hall) WaterBrook Press, Traci DePree
2. Coral Moon (Brandilyn Collins)
3. Abomination (Colleen Coble)

Women’s Fiction
1. Remember to Forget (Deborah Raney) Howard Books/Simon & Schuster, Philis Boultinghouse
2. Watercolored Pearls (Stacy Hawkins Adams)
3. A Promise To Remember (Kathryn Cushman)

Young Adult
1. In Between (Jenny B. Jones) NavPress, Jamie Chavez
2. Sara Jane: Liberty’s Torch (Eleanor Clark)
3. Saving Sailor (Renee Riva)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When the Soul Mends!


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

When The Soul Mends

WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2008)

by

Cindy Woodsmall



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cindy Woodsmall is a veteran homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

Her first novel, When The Heart Cries, released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a Christian Book Association best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her last book, When the Morning Comes, hit the New York Times best-sellers extended list and the Christian Book Association best-sellers list.

Cindy’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and daughter-in-law reside in Georgia. Her husband is a registered land surveyor and a vice president at an engineering firm. Their oldest son has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine and works at a local hospital. Their second son and his wife are both students at the University of Georgia. Their teen-aged son keeps the household energized with his love of music, books, and writing.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Returning to the home she fled in disgrace, will Hannah find healing for the wounds of the past?

After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.

Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancĂ© Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life–and perhaps to her first love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Soul Mends, go HERE

“A skillfully written story of forgiveness and redemption. Woodsmall’s authentic characters illustrate beautifully how wounded souls can indeed be mended.”
Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy

“Like the stitches on a well-loved quilt, love and faith hold together Cindy Woodsmall's When the Soul Mends, the brilliantly written third story in the Sisters of the Quilt series. With deft plotting and characters that seem to jump off the page, this novel offers the timeless truth that forgiveness is the balm which heals all wounds and a blanket for the soul.”
Kathleen Y’Barbo, author of Beloved Castaway

“What a vibrant, strong, emotional story! When the Heart Cries will grip you and not let go, I promise. Highly recommended!”
Gayle Roper, author of Allah’s Fire and the Seaside Seasons series

“Reaching deep into the heart of the reader, Cindy Woodsmall pens a beautifully lyrical story in her debut novel When the Heart Cries.”
Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of Rekindled

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts!

A SCRAPBOOK OF CHRISTMAS FIRSTS

(Leafwood Publishers, October 2008)

A wonderful new gift book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, is available in October for Christmas giving. Today, I’ve invited the six coauthors to share their unique story of how they came together to publish this exciting book full of stories, recipes, tips for simplifying the holidays and so much more (click on bookcover to see the trailer!).

First, let me introduce Cathy Messecar, Leslie Wilson, Brenda Nixon, Trish Berg, Terra Hangen and Karen Robbins. Thank you for being here today, ladies.

Karen: Thank you for the invitation.

You are from three different areas of the country—Texas, California, and Ohio. How did you all meet?

Terra: We all six joined The Writers View, an online group for professional Christian writers. Trish and Brenda met in person in 2004 for lunch, I understand, and on 9/18/04, after reading a post Brenda sent to TWV, I sent an email to Brenda, asking if she would like to join with me and walk alongside each other, as a Barnabas group. Brenda said yes that same day, and suggested Trish too. Very quickly Cathy, Leslie and Karen joined in and our stalwart band of six was formed. Living in California, I was so happy to find 5 Barnabas writers in other states so we could bring together a wealth of different viewpoints and expertise

Brenda: Actually, We haven’t met. We’re all great colleagues and friends via the internet. Four years ago Terra and I formed a dyad to support each other as Christians who write in the secular markets. Along came Trish, Cathy, Karen, and Leslie (not necessarily in that order) and we formed a close knit bond of support, creative energy, and professional accountability.

Karen: I met Trish through an online forum called The Writers View and she invited me to join the group.

Trish: Although we belong to the same Yahoo writing group, we met one by one online. Eventually, the six of us decided that since we all write as Christians for a secular market through magazine articles and newspaper columns, we could support and encourage one another.

Leslie: Though we met virtually through The Writers View, I have been blessed to give and get hugs from Trish (at a MOPS conference), Cathy (in the area on business) and Karen (in town for a writers' conference). I can’t wait to meet Terra and Brenda face-to-face, though I feel as though I already know them!

How did you come up with the idea to do a book together?

Brenda: The book is Cathy’s brainchild. She mentioned the concept of telling stories of events that happened for the first time at Christmas and sharing holiday historical tidbits and recipes and each said, “If you need any help, let me know.” That offer morphed into each of us equally contributing and co-authoring A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts.

Trish: Yep, Cathy came up with the idea and the title, and asked us if we wanted to join her on this project. Of course, we said Yes!

Terra: Cathy mentioned the idea for a Christmas book to the group, and someone (I think it was Leslie) suggested that maybe our group could all write the book together. Cathy agreed to lead the way on the project. The earliest email I have on this is from 9/7/05, which shows that this has been a three year collaboration from idea to publication.

Karen: (Chuckling) Terra is a librarian and keeps our historical records by saving our e-mails.

Leslie: Actually, Terra, I wrote that comment (in a group e-mail) kind of tongue-in-cheek. Cathy, the ultra-sweet person she is, took my joking at face value and here we are. However, I believe God prompted the passion and ideas we all bring to the project and that He will do mighty things as a result of our collaboration!

Why did you decide on a Christmas theme?

Brenda: It was Cathy’s concept to write a book centering on Christmas.

Cathy: For several years, I’d been thinking about Christmas as a threshold to introduce Jesus to folks who aren’t familiar with him, and I love a simpler Christmas with the emphasis on family, friends and doing for others. I knew of some families who had experienced “firsts” at Christmas—reunions, losses, special surprises—and I wanted to collect those stories.

Terra: Cathy’s idea immediately resonated with me because Christmas books are “a way past watchful dragons,” as C. S. Lewis wrote. Many people won’t buy a book about being a Christian, but will buy a holiday and family fun book, thus the “past watchful dragons.” People who want to grow in their faith, and people who have no faith but celebrate Christmas will buy our book and hopefully be led to put the focus back on Christ for the holiday, and for their lives.

Leslie: Though Cathy birthed the idea, the rest of us quickly hopped on board. Not only is Christmas special to me—especially now that I have a family of my own—but also that particular holiday cries out to be simplified, to return to the meaningful aspects of celebration, and to lose some of the hype and commercialism.

Tell me a little about what is in A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts? What is your favorite part?

Cathy: I like that you can read one chapter in about 15 minutes and, with all the different suggestions, it feels like Christmas Eve. Makes you want to set up the nativity! Many of the suggestions for family activities can be adapted for any family get-together.

Karen: There are heartwarming stories about things that happened for the first time at Christmas. For instance, one of my stories is about the first Christmas with our adopted children. And the book is pretty. When I first saw the colorful pages and drawings, I fell in love with the illustrator’s work.

Brenda: I don’t have a favorite part – I love it all!

Terra: I like the way the parts are woven into a seamless whole, like a patchwork quilt, that is stronger and more beautiful than the parts.

Trish: It’s like everything you ever wanted to know about Christmas, all the best tips and recipes, and neat stories all wrapped up in this perfect little package.

Leslie: I love reading the special stories, hints, recipes—whatever—and imagining the precious family time that precipitated each moment. Plus, the book is gorgeous, beautifully printed, truly something to be proud of. And we are.

I’ve heard that the book is really a nice gift book; can you tell me a little about the format?

Cathy: Yes, it’s a hardbound book, full color interior. The layout makes it easy to read. It has a definite scrapbooky look on the interior. Different logos identify sections, such as an oilcloth-look Christmas stocking appears beside the “Stocking Stuffer Tradition” (help for connecting family members), and the “Cookie Canister” recipes are on a recipe card, and the back ground of “A Gift For You” is a gift box with bow. It’s a classy gift that they can be placed on a coffee table or in a guest bedroom during the holiday season.

Brenda: I like to describe it as a Starbuck’s sorta gift book. It’s high quality, crisp, and practical.

With six different personalities and areas of ministry, how did you manage to put this all together and still remain friends?

Karen: We pray a lot for each other and it helps that none of us have an over-inflated ego.

Cathy: There were no squabbles. Surely, we had differing opinions, but we knew that any of us could suggest an idea for this book and that each idea would get fair reviews from others. We actually voted on some aspects—everyone in favor say, “Aye.” If you’ve ever watched women at a Dutch treat luncheon when they divide up a meal ticket, it can be intense as they split the ticket down to the penny. As the project came together, I was in awe of my gracious coauthors, unselfish women who respect each other.
For some decisions, we did a round robin—things like book title and chapter titles and what categories to put into the book. Then, as compiler, I’d send out a list of needs to The Word Quilters, that’s what we call ourselves. For instance in a section we call “Peppermints for Little Ones” (hints for children’s activities), I’d put out a call, and the WQs sent in their hints, and then I put them into appropriate chapters.

Brenda: (Smiling) Are we still friends? Seriously, we each have our own platform, ministry, and family life, and those interests kept this project in perspective – it was important but not the only thing on our plates. No one was so enmeshed in this project that she campaigned for her own way. We never had a bitter disagreement or insistence to be “right.”

Terra: We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders.We offer support and ideas for our separate writing projects and for personal prayer requests. I love these ladies, and I have only met one of them in person. So far, Karen is the only one who has met each of us, and one day we hope to meet in person, in a circle of friendship and love.

Trish: I think we are all very flexible and forgiving. We do have a variety of personalities here, but God has worked amazing things through our little group.

Leslie: Though I have seven non-fiction projects in various stages of completion, I could not be more thankful that this is the one to reach publication first. I am truly blessed to have worked with these women, learned from them, watched as they’ve poured heart and soul into crafting a product that will impact lives for the Lord.

Where can my readers get a copy of SOCF?

Cathy: The coauthors will all have a supply, plus our publisher, Leafwood Publishers, will have plenty of copies and discounts for buying five or more. Or they can be ordered at most online stores or by your local bookstore.

Karen: And anyone who leaves a comment here can be entered in a drawing for a free book and a gift basket worth $200! For a list of its contents, check our blog, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. And while you're there, leave another comment and increase your chances of winning!

Tell me more about your blog.

Karen: We started our blog in July and it is accumulating a wealth of information about Christmas. Each of us posts one day a week following the theme for that week. Watch for new recipes, tips, ways to simplify, stories, etc., similar to what is in our book.

Leslie: Ooh, ooh, let me answer this one. I’m probably the newest to blogging among the group, but I LOVE it. I’ve enjoyed posting and receiving comments back from readers. What an amazing adventure having an online voice can be! This blog will focus on a different theme each week—anything from tips to avoid overeating during the holidays to how to give a guest room special touches—and expand on the material in the book. I think readers will get to know the authors’ individual personalities and connect on a more personal level. Plus, they get that many more ideas, information, inspiration (!) at no additional cost.

WQs: As an added bonus for inviting us to your blog, we’d like to pass along this Christmas tidbit to you and your readers:

Enjoy a blessed Christmas this year! And thanks for inviting us to share our book, A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts, with you.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Attention Washington State MOMS!

FIRST 24/7 MOMS Conference

Whether you go by MOM, Mother, Mommy or Mama we all have ONE thing in COMMON - we need other MOMS. 24/7 has been created by MOMS for MOMS who understand that this thing called motherhood can actually be an adventure all on its own - scary yet exciting, challenging yet rewarding, full of ups and downs. This is why we as MOMS need a place to be inspired, equipped and connected as we travel this motherhood adventure together. Welcome to 24/7 MOMS!



We are moms 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. YOU deserve some mom ME TIME!

24/7 MOMS invites you to a mom ME TIME to be Inspired, Equipped and Connected as MOMS

Join us at the FIRST 24/7 MOMS Conference

October 10-11, 2008

Wesley Inn and Conference Center

Gig Harbor, WA

- MOM Favorites Event - Take home an arm full of FREEbies
- How Sweet It Is Candy Buffet
- Saturday Lunch
- MOM Workshop Opportunities
- Two Key-note Speakers
- MOM Goodie Bag
- Late Night FUN

Moms can also still take advantage of our $20 off special.

Here is the conference website http://www.247momsconference.org/.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sweet September

Catch the buzz at these awesome blogs! Many of the bloggers have copies of Sweet September to give-away! (hint, hint!)

Make sure to check out the fun contest below!

Harvest time at Heather Creek Farm is an exciting time, but the kids don't seem to be getting into the spirit. One day while he's wandering through the fields, Christopher stumbles across an old piece of metal buried in the ground. He doesn't know what it is, but he hides it in the shed.

That night, the garden by the house is uprooted. Who could have done such a thing? Charlotte is determined to find out, but is distracted when she gets news that Sam is failing school. The sullen teen is indifferent and won't study. He starts spending a lot of time with Pete. Though she loves her son dearly, Pete never finished high school, and Charlotte is afraid he'll encourage Sam to do the same. How can she help him get back on track?

A gripping story that examines the Stevenson family's history as well as its shaky future, Sweet September will bring you deeper into the loving community of Bedford and the deep ties of love that bind this broken family together. As they forge new connections, you'll be entertained, inspired, and reminded that God's grace can make all things new.

Contest!!!!!

Since Sweet September is all about family, Tricia wants to meet yours.

Leave a comment on Tricia's blog tour post sharing who your favorite family member is (think beyond hubby and kids) and why.

You'll be entered into a drawing to win William-Sonoma’s Pumpkin Harvest Loaf Pan & Quick Bread Set.

YUM!

9/15
Pattie at Fresh Brewed Writer
http://freshbrewedwriter.blogspot.com/2008/09/sweet-september-blog-tour.html
What surprised me about the first two books of the Heather Creek series is that they are inspirational without being emotionally manipulative! That is a big plus to me. This is well-written Christian fiction that is relevant to today's world without being saccharine.

Beth at The Writing Road
http://thewritingroad.blogspot.com/2008/09/book-review-sweet-september-by-tricia.html
Sweet September was just that--a sweet read that reinforced the importance of faith and family-and believing that God's grace is sufficient for all things.

Amy at Amy’s Random Thoughts
http://amychristopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/sweet-september-book-tour-and-give-away.html
Sweet September was a wonderful read by Tricia Goyer whom I have recently discovered. What a great writer. This book read like a TV show, I could picture the entire story in my head. I can not wait to read more!!!!!! This is another set of books I would totally recommend.

Jill at Christian Work At Home Moms
http://cwahmjill.blogspot.com/2008/09/sweet-september-blog-tour.html
A gripping story that examines the Stevenson family's history as well as its shaky future, Sweet September will bring you deeper into the loving community of Bedford and the deep ties of love that bind this broken family together.

9/16
Christy at Christy's Book Blog
http://christysbookblog.blogspot.com/

Margaret at The Cappuccino Life
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/cappuccinosmom/589833/
Sweet September is actually the second in a series (Home To Heather Creek), but is perfectly wonderful as a stand-alone novel as well. As an aside, this is her first published contemporary novel, and I think she did a fine job on it!

Kate at A Simple Walk
http://asimplewalk.blogspot.com/2008/09/sweet-september-was-fantastic-read.html
Sweet September was a fantastic read filled with lovable characters, a fascinating storyline, and a setting that is so well-written it becomes as much of the storyline as the plot itself. As I read this book, I found myself caring very deeply about what would happen in the life of this "cobbled-together family."

Patty at Girlfriends in God
http://patty-girlfriendsingod.blogspot.com/2008/09/book-tour-and-2-giveawayssweet.html
I can tell you that the author, Tricia, immediately draws you into this family and from the very beginning you can feel the pain that the children were dealing with from the death of their mother, to their father’s abandonment. This book could apply to any one of us.

9/17
Diane at Diane’s Place
http://lenadianejennings.blogspot.com/

Deborah at A Cup of Joy
http://acupofjoy.wordpress.com/

Cara at Cara's Musings
http://carasmusings.blogspot.com/

Laura at LightHouse Academy
http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/

9/18
Leticia at My Daily Trek
http://leticiasworld.blogspot.com/

Tasra at Real Women Scrap
http://realwomenscrap.typepad.com/

Jamie at Surviving the Chaos
http://www.survivingthechaos.blogspot.com/

Lauren at Baseballs and Bows
http://baseballsandbows.blogspot.com/

Melissa at Breath of Life
http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com/

9/19
Deena at A Peek at My Bookshelf
http://deenasbooks.blogspot.com/

Sunny at Life in the Estrogen Ocean
http://estrogen-ocean.blogspot.com/

Susan at His Reading List
http://hisreadinglist.blogspot.com/

Deborah at Books, Movies and Chinese Food
http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com/

9/20
Pam at Without Fear
http://withoutfear08.blogspot.com/

Heather at Mumblings of a Mommy Monk
http://mommymonk.blogspot.com/

Brittanie at A Book Lover
http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/

Mary at Home Steeped Hope
http://homesteepedhope.com/

Lynetta at Open Book
http://www.lynetta.blogspot.com/

9/22
Trish at Books for Moms
http://www.booksformoms.blogspot.com/

Amy at My Friend Amy
http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/


Christina at Mustard Seeds Shelf
http://christina-everythingelse.blogspot.com/

1/2009
Lena Nelson at A Christian Writer's Life
http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Bride Bargain


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Bride Bargain

Barbour Publishing, Inc (September 1, 2008)

by

Kelly Eileen Hake



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Life doesn't wait, and neither does Kelly Eileen Hake. In her short twenty-three years of life, she's achieved much. Her secret? Embracing opportunities and multitasking. Kelly received her first writing contract at the tender age of seventeen and arranged to wait three months until she was able to legally sign it. Since that first contract five years ago, she's reached several life goals. Aside from fulfilling fourteen contracts ranging from short stories to novels, she's also attained her BA in English Literature and Composition and earned her credential to teach English in secondary schools. If that weren't enough, she's taken positions as a college preparation tutor, bookstore clerk, and in-classroom learning assistant to pay for the education she values so highly. Currently, she is working toward her MA in Writing Popular Fiction. No matter what goal she pursues, Kelly knows what it means to work for it!

Kelly's dual careers as English teacher and author give her the opportunity explore and share her love of the written word. A CBA bestselling author and dedicated member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kelly is a reader favorite of Barbour's Heartsong Presents program, where she's been privileged to earn numerous Heartsong Presents Reader's Choice Awards; including Favorite New Author 2005, Top 5 Favorite Historical Novel 2005, and Top Five Favorite Author Overall 2006 in addition to winning the Second Favorite Historical Novel 2006!

Her Prairie Promises trilogy, set in the 1850s Nebraska Territory, features her special style of witty, heartwarming historical romance.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Set down upon the wild American plains during the 1850. Clara is desperate for a home and a future for herself and her aunt. When Clara Fields and her aunt are kicked off their wagon train, a store owner in Buttonwood offers a chance at redemption. If Clara is able to wed his grandson off to any of the local girls within a month, he'll sign over his two-story house.

Desperate to provide for the woman who raised her, Clara agrees to find a bride for the man's son--a stalwart bachelor. How hard can it be to find a bride for one handsome Doctor? Apparently more difficult than she imagined when Saul Reed seems determined to ramain single.

Will Clara's faith and wits help her wrangle a resolution to The Bride Bargain. Striking a bargain with a lonely trader to fool a head-strong doctor could lead Clara to an unexpected avenue of romance.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bride Bargain, go HERE

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First Place 4 Health


and her book:

First Place 4 Health

Regal Books (June 15, 2008)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carole Lewis is the national director of First Place 4 Health, the Christ centered health and weight loss program. A warm, transparent and humorous communicator, Carole is a popular speaker at workshops, seminars and conferences around the country. She and her husband, Johnny, have three adult children (one deceased), eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.


Visit the author's blog.

Product Details:

List Price: $19.99

Hardcover: 224 pages

Publisher: Regal Books (June 15, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0830745238


AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:

Chapter One

Get on the Bus

One of my favorite authors and speakers, Patsy Clairmont, tells the story of when her son was about six years old. Because they lived out in the country, she walked her son to the bus stop every morning. One day, early in the school year, before she got back to the house, she heard the footsteps of her son running up behind her.

“What in the world are you doing?” she said to him. “The school bus will be here any minute.”

“I’m quitting school,” he said, looking her straight in the eye.

“You can’t quit school,” she replied. “You’re only in first grade. Why do you want to quit?”

“Well, it’s too long, too hard and too boring,” he said.

“Son, that’s life,” said Patsy. “Get on the bus.”

* * *

Have you ever wanted to give up?

There’s a worthy goal ahead, but to reach the goal takes time, effort and focus. When you run into obstacles, your first inclination might be to quit. That’s when the best thing you can do is square your shoulders, set your lunch kit firmly under your arm and get on the bus—in other words, take one simple step toward your goal.

If you’re reading this book, chances are good that you have a worthy goal in mind—you want your life and health to change for the better. Maybe you haven’t fully articulated the goal, but you know that you can’t stay the same. You know that something has to change in your life because parts of your life—perhaps all parts—aren’t what they could be right now.
What’s the most obvious part of your life that needs to change—is it your weight?

Being overweight is an obvious catalyst that invites you to open the door to positive change. It’s easy to admit to a struggle with weight when the mirrors, the scale and the clothes closets in your house don’t lie. Being overweight is noticeable—to you and to others. You can’t ignore it. It never lets you forget its presence.

• Maybe you feel the extra weight in your heart and lungs. It’s difficult to climb stairs. It’s difficult or impossible to play with your kids or grandchildren. You dread your annual physical checkup because you already know what the doctor is going to tell you.

• Perhaps buying clothes is distressing and embarrassing for you. You see the clothes you’d like to wear, but nothing fits or feels right. You dread wearing shorts. You detest wearing a swimsuit, and you might even refuse to participate in any activity that requires your wearing a swimsuit.

• Maybe you sense a subtle discrimination at work. You are passed over for a promotion and wonder if it has anything to do with your weight. Maybe your sales would be higher if you looked fit. Maybe you’d get more respect if you weren’t packing on the pounds.

• You dread social events, such as a class reunion, where you’re with people who haven’t seen you for a while. You hear people say good things to others, but no positive comments come your way. Maybe people give you pointed stares. Maybe they even joke that your spouse’s cooking must be really good.

• Weight affects your pocketbook. Your grocery bill is higher. Your life insurance premiums are elevated. You spend more on medical deductibles. Maybe you have paid a lot of money for weight-loss programs and related books.

• You fear the severe repercussions of being overweight. One of your grandmothers suffers from diabetes. An uncle died of heart disease. Another had a stroke. You’re about the same age and condition as they were when their bodies became diseased. What will be your fate?

The reasons why you are overweight are numerous. You may have struggled with weight forever. You’ve always been the “fat kid,” the one picked last in gym class, the girl without a date at prom or the tubby guy who’s always good for a joke. You blame the weight on your genes, the way you were raised or the fact that your mother always cooked with butter. But it doesn’t matter—in the end you’re overweight because you’ve always been that way.

Some people struggle with weight only after a major life change—the pounds came on after marriage, after reaching a certain age, during pregnancy. You remember what it was like to be fit, but that was definitely yesterday’s body. You see pictures of yourself taken a few years ago, before you gained weight, and wonder if you’ll ever look like that again.

Some of us wrestle with weight because, in our most honest moments, we know it acts as a cocoon. If this is your reason, perhaps you gained weight because something terrible happened years ago. Maybe your father died when you were young and you’re still grieving his loss; you were date raped as a teenager and it has taken years to overcome the tragedy; you went through an ugly divorce and are still scarred and wounded. The extra pounds feel like a protection. You believe your weight hides you from a hurtful world. Food is a refuge that always seems to make you feel better.

Some people struggle with weight because age or other health conditions hinder ease of movement. If this is your story, you long to be fit and healthy, but most mornings when you wake up you simply feel miserable. It’s hard to get off the couch, much less walk around the block.

Others struggle with weight because life moves too fast. You’ve got to work all day and pick up the kids after soccer practice and get dinner on the table and make phone calls for the committee after dinner and on and on and on—how can you possibly take time to focus on your health?

Whatever the reasons, you know one thing for sure: The pounds are there, and you wish they weren’t. You long for a better life—a vibrant, healthy life. Deep down you long to be the kind of person whose life is characterized by balance and satisfaction.

You can glimpse the better goal of being fit and well, but to reach that goal, you know it will take time, effort and focus. Obstacles will come up—they’ve come up every other time you’ve tried to lose weight, and when this happens, the temptation is always to quit. You know that you need to take one simple step at a time toward your target. But how do you do that?

The Place to Begin

There is hope for your future weight loss, and it’s found in a place you may have never imagined. The easy thing would be for me to give you another diet to follow. But statistics tell us that 95 percent of people who lose weight gain it back again.1 The simple fact is that another diet is not the solution you’re looking for.

I repeat: If all you’re looking for is a quick way to lose weight, then this book will disappoint you. That’s not what First Place 4 Health is all about. Besides, I won’t give you a quick fix that will take the pounds off only to have them come back on a short time later.

I want to give you a lasting solution that addresses not only the number you see on a scale but also your whole person—spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It’s the plan that helps you lead the life you were meant to live—a good life filled with hope, purpose and health.

If that kind of life is something that interests you, I want to let you in on a little secret. The hope for your future weight loss begins with this simple fact:

God is good.

That’s where the First Place 4 Health program begins. Does that statement sound so simple that you feel like dismissing it? “God is good” is one of the most far-reaching principles of the Bible, and it affects your life in ways that you may never have imagined. Let’s take that one fact and unpack it a bit.

Imagine for a moment that you lived a few thousand years ago. You’re in a community of people loved by God, but you have all made mistakes over a long period of time, and you find yourself conquered, captured and carted off to Babylon by order of King Nebuchadnezzar.

In this new land, nothing feels the same and nothing looks the same. Obstacles are all around you. You’re a stranger in a strange land. But you get a letter from one of your “pastors”—the prophet Jeremiah—and the letter lays out the very words of God.

In the letter, God says that He knows everything there is to know about you, including the events of your life that have led you to this place of exile. God knows the mistakes you have made, but He offers you His grace. The Lord declares these simple yet profound words:

I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).

That’s the simple fact: God has good plans for you, plans to give you a hope and a future. In other words—God is good.

God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Even though He wrote those words through the prophet Jeremiah, to a specific group of people at a specific place and time, His righteous character is still the same toward us today. Whenever we turn to the Lord and ask for His help, He extends His hand of grace to us.

Nahum 1:7 repeats that thought:

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble.

He cares for those who trust in Him.

That’s the real answer to your goal of losing weight and becoming healthy. Start with the fact that God is good. He cares for you. The answer you’re looking for encompasses not just taking off pounds, but also living the life of purpose and hope you were meant to live. This is the life God calls you to live. And that life is well within your grasp. This book will show you what it’s all about.

Do the Next Right Thing

To begin learning about this new, healthier lifestyle, you need to start right where you are. That means taking whatever positive step is right in front of you; or, in other words, “do the next right thing.”

I want to share with you part of a letter I received from one of our First Place 4 Health group leaders. She has chosen to show up to life every day. She takes small steps. She makes ordinary decisions for positive change. But she is walking the path of balance that leads to total health.

I have battled depression most of my life. When I became a Christian, that battle did not go away. In 1990, when I weighed 220 pounds, I prayed that God would deliver me from my addiction to food. One week later, I learned about First Place. (First Place has been a lifesaver for me. I have been a First Place leader off and on since 1991.)

When my mother came to live with us, and I became her full-time caregiver, I dropped out of First Place and my weight went up to 273 pounds. I am disabled and live with chronic pain on a daily basis. During this time there were days when I only got out of bed to take care of my mother’s most basic needs.

When she went home to be with the Lord in 2002, I chose to have gastric bypass surgery the next year instead of returning to First Place. I lost 90 pounds the first year and then stopped. I have since realized that there’s no magic cure for weight gain. Even with gastric bypass surgery, the answer is to eat less and exercise more.

I wanted so badly to start leading First Place again, but since I’d had weight-loss surgery, I felt that I couldn’t justify leading the class. I prayed and sought the Lord and called your office and was encouraged to share with the class and go forward. I have done that now for the last two years.

All of this leads up to why I am writing. I have battled depression since I was a very young girl. God has helped me so much since becoming a Christian, but it is a battle every day, and some days I lose the fight. One of my First Place assistants brought a copy of the April 2007 First Place Newsletter to class for each of our members. That newsletter has changed my life.

We all have Aha! moments in life when one word or one Scripture reaches us and the light bulb turns on. For me it was one line from that newsletter. “When there are times when all I can do is the next right thing, then I do the next right thing.” Wow! I thought. Maybe I can do that. So I typed up this saying and placed it on my bathroom mirror. The very next day I woke up in great pain, not knowing how to begin doing all the things

I needed to do, and with no energy and no desire to do anything. Then I remembered the saying—Do the next right thing. I read it out loud, and I read it again. And then, I did the next right thing. All day that day, if I got confused or overwhelmed or sad, I went back to the bathroom and read that statement and then did the next right thing.

My husband can’t believe the things I have gotten accomplished. My house is cleaner; my laundry is done (folded and put away); I go to bed earlier and get up earlier. I have started swimming at the YWCA. I have become interested in reading and doing crafts again. Previously, I just wanted to stay in bed until noon; but now I tell myself to just get up and do the next right thing.

The words “Do the next right thing” have completely changed my life. Do I still battle depression? Yes. Maybe I will for the rest of my life unless the Lord chooses to heal me. Am I still in constant pain? Oh, yes. I need surgery, and maybe now I will find the courage to go ahead with that. But I don’t have to worry about that—I just have to do the next right thing.

In the pages ahead, you will see more specifically what taking positive steps looks like. Together we will examine the model of the foursided person and explore what it means to live a balanced life mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically. You are invited to make foundational shifts toward positive habits that will help you along your new journey. Through the power of God, you can decide to live a healthier life, and you can experience lasting positive change.

When I think of a person who has succeeded in this area, I think of my friend Deborah, a woman in my First Place 4 Health group.

Deborah had a number of strikes against her. At 5'8", she weighed more than 200 pounds. She had been in an emotionally and physically abusive marriage and was in the process of getting a divorce. She had custody of her two preteen girls and was tired a lot. After suffering from chronic depression for years, Deborah was on several medications.

When Deborah came to her first meeting, all she did was sit. She sat through an entire 12-week session and didn’t lose a pound. She signed up for another 12-week session. She came and sat, and didn’t lose a pound.

So she signed up for a third 12-week session. On the day the session was to start, she sent me this email: “Carole, please take my name off the roll. I’m just dragging the group down.”

I knew that Deborah wasn’t doing her Bible study. I knew that she had not learned the food plan. I knew that she was convinced that all she was able to do was sit. And I knew that she had reached the point where the pain of not changing was forcing her to move beyond the lies and make a choice. Her choice was that she needed to make a choice.

I replied to her email message with one line: Deborah—just come today.

That day, when Deborah arrived, I hugged her, and she started crying.

That was her moment of choice. From that moment on, she started responding to the program. She began doing her Bible study and memorizing verses. She started walking around her neighborhood with her girls. She started eating according to the Live It plan.

Soon, she had lost 60 pounds.

Previously hidden aspects of Deborah’s personality began to shine through. She was fun! We learned that she was a talented photographer. In fact, in March 2006, she went to Israel with a tour group arranged by First Place 4 Health. She took pictures for the group and walked up and down the rocky terrain. I had never seen her like that—so vibrant and full of action. She had just been so squashed down all of her life.

“Deborah,” I said, a while ago, “tell me what finally happened for you to make a choice.”

“Carole,” she said, “you believed in me. You believed that I could do it. Nobody ever believed in me before.”

What she said is true. I believed in her. And I believe in you. I believe that you can do it. Even if no one has ever believed in you before, know that someone believes in you now. With God’s help, you can change. It’s your choice. And you have the power to do it.

As you take your next steps toward positive change, keep in mind that you must choose to change before change will begin.

First Place 4 Health is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle shift.

People often believe that if they can just get on the right diet, all their weight problems will be solved. That’s an easy mistake to make, because the latest, greatest diets are always marketed as the solution we need. Yet First Place 4 Health is much more than a diet; it’s a change in how to approach life. The good thing about the First Place 4 Health food plan is that it’s not restrictive like a diet would be. We invite you to explore all the wonderful world of food choices the Lord has provided.

• First Place 4 Health is not about rigid rules; it’s about helpful invitations. We used to stress commitments—which is a good concept. We wanted people to be dedicated to pursuing health. But we have found that people sometimes looked at commitments as laws, and if laws were broken, then guilt and rigidity set in. Instead, we are inviting you to make a number of positive changes in your life. No one does them all perfectly, all of the time. So relax. There isn’t just one way to live a healthy life. Develop the plan that works best for you, and give yourself grace to make mistakes and adjustments along the way.

• Get involved at your own pace. When it comes to living a healthy, balanced life, success will look different for different people. Some people lose 100 pounds the first year they’re involved in First Place 4 Health. Other people lose 20 pounds and keep it off for 20 years. For others, success is found in not gaining any more weight. You are welcome in First Place 4 Health regardless of where you are with your current level of health. We encourage you to do no more than what you are ready for. Yet we do encourage you to take a first positive step as soon as possible.

• Your invitation starts right now. Any change requires some sort of adjustment. Your invitation is to jump in to this new life today. Just begin. Get on the bus. Make the choice to give yourself wholeheartedly to this new season in your life—a season that will hopefully stretch into a lifetime of healthy living. Have fun exploring new ways to grow in your faith and in your understanding of health. Develop new friendships by getting involved in something good for you. Don’t be satisfied with standing on the outside—come on in! Be courageous and take the next step in living a balanced life.

What Keeps You Going?

The formula for lasting change:

A worthy goal reached through time + effort + focus

When obstacles to meeting your goal come up, your first inclination may be to quit. That’s when you take the next step toward your goal— just one simple step at a time.

It helps to have a clear idea of what a worthy goal looks like. You may not have articulated more than the words “to lose weight.” While this is a worthy goal, it usually breaks down when obstacles come up, because you need a greater understanding of the motivation behind your goal. When you remember why it is that you wanted to lose weight in the first place, that knowledge keeps you heading toward your goal.

People lose weight for all sorts of reasons. The Bible provides the foundational motivation, and it’s as simple as this: God is interested in your health. The motivations are shown in two passages of Scripture.

Check out Romans 12:1-2:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

In other words, you are urged to present your body—your actual flesh and blood and bone and skin—to God as an act of worship. How you take care of your body is a reflection of what you think about God. It’s honoring to the Lord to take care of the body He has given you.

When your body is presented to God, He invites you to use your life in service to Him.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

The benefit here is yours. To live for the Lord God of All is an incredible privilege. God’s invitation is to an abundant life full of purpose and hope. A foundational motivation for weight loss and total lifestyle change is to give your body to God.

It seems strange to think about it, but if you have accepted Christ as your Savior, then you have the actual Spirit of God living inside your body. It doesn’t make you a god. It means that your body houses the spirit of God, and that He works in your life by faith.

So what are the foundational motivations for losing weight and living a life of balance?

First, God wants you to. God is interested in your health.

Second, when your life is in balance, it’s much easier to be a leader in your family and a role model for your children and spouse. It’s difficult to lead people where you have never been yourself. Many children are overweight and need encouragement from their parents. Many of the weight problems of our children would evaporate if we led by example.

I’ve experienced this truth in my own life. When I first started to exercise, my oldest granddaughter, Cara, loved to walk or jog with me. Would she have done it on her own? No way! Yet in a heartbeat, she came with me at my invitation. Children love being with their family members.

Third, weight loss can also expose the true needs in our hearts. I’m talking specifically to those of you who need emotional healing. A weight gain is often a symptom of a deeper issue. For instance, women and men who have been emotionally or sexually abused often attempt to hide their pain by eating.

But whatever motivation is speaking to your heart, just take a moment now to get on the bus.

In the space on the following pages, jot down some ideas about the reasons you want to lose weight. It can be very beneficial to see your goals on paper. When obstacles come (and they will), you can refer back to this to gain encouragement.

Sometimes it helps to record a positive goal as well as its negative extrapolation of what might happen if you don’t do anything. Sometimes it can help to imagine your life in 5, 10 or 15 years. What will happen if something changes? What will happen if nothing changes?

Take some time to think through the following declarations.

I want to lose weight because . . .

I want to lose weight so that I can . . .

and be a good example to . . .

If I lose weight, then in the future I can see myself . . .

If I don’t lose weight, then in the future I can see myself . . .

There is no correct way to word your goal. What matters is that you know your goal, remind yourself of it often and keep in mind that your goal is reachable. With God’s help, you can do it.

Congratulations! You’re on Your Way

God never promised us that life would be rosy and without difficulty. Instead, the Lord promises to carry us through any situation and trial. God already knows your goals. He knows that you desire a better life filled with purpose, health and hope. And He knows the obstacles you will encounter that tempt you to quit the journey. Don’t give up! You can make it!

Remember, you have already taken the first step by reading this chapter. And it wasn’t that hard. Now you’re on the bus! You’re on your way to a whole new you.

Checklist for Success

• Acknowledge the truth that God is good and that He offers you a hope-filled plan for your life and future. Your success begins with this simple fact.

• Run from quick fixes—they never provide you with the lasting change you need. First Place 4 Health is a lifestyle change that affects your whole person—mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically. It will take time, but it’s worth it.

• Accept the invitation to give your life to God. He is interested in everything about you—including your physical health.

• Write down the specific reasons why you want to become healthy. Refer back to your declarations often for motivation. Remind yourself why not doing anything isn’t an option.

• Start today. Obstacles and excuses will come up, but quitting isn’t the answer. Do the next right thing!

Note

1. This statistic is frequently cited in weight-loss journals and health-related articles, for example: http://preventdisease.com/fitness/weightloss/articles/carbs.html (accessed January 23, 2007).


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sneak Peak!

Nothing But Trouble is the first in Susan May Warren's new PJ Surgar series. The book will release in February, 2009.

Smart, intrepid PJ Sugar, wannabe PI, and all-around troublemaker has returned home to set right the rumors that drove her out of her hometown of Kellogg, MN, ten years ago. But not much has changed -- well, except for her old beau/bad boy has turned into the local law. But PJ isn't in town for longer than a day when her old history teacher is murdered and her best friend's hubby is branded the killer. PJ can't leave well enough alone, and pretty soon, she's up to her ears in Nothin' but Trouble!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Josey is headed to SIBERIA?

The blog tour kicks off September 8th! Check out the fun contest below!

Get Cozy, Josey by Susan May Warren: How do you get cozy when your new "home" is a frozen tundra? Josey's dreams of small-town Minnesota bliss melt away when her hubby's relocated to a Siberian village. No indoor plumbing...or junk food! But this feisty former missionary knows how to multitask: juggling toddler twins, empowering local housewives, spreading God's word - no worries, Josey. It's finding time alone with the man of her dreams that will take some real work!

Check out what people are saying about Josey's latest adventures!

8/24
Trish at Books for Moms
http://booksformoms.blogspot.com/2008/08/get-cozy-josey.html

9/8
Martha at Our Family's Adventures
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/Martha/586556/
What I loved about it was the real factor Susan Warren put in, where I could really relate to Josey, because it was real life! The sprinkle of Russian words throughout the book adds to its realness to me and since I knew what they were saying, it added to the flavor of the book!

Deborah at A Cup of Joy
http://acupofjoy.wordpress.com/2008/09/08/get-cozy-josey-by-susan-may-warren-giveaway-too/
Now, here’s a book I L.O.V.E! Written by a former SEND missionary, this story tugged at my missionary heart strings. For all of you who have entertained the thought of being a missionary…roughing it in ol’ Siberia, say…here’s a way to experience it without leaving the comfort of your own home. Enjoy and may you be challenged as to how you may be involved in missions, whether by going or giving in some way.

Patty at Girlfriends in God
http://patty-girlfriendsingod.blogspot.com/

9/9
Amy at Amy’s Random Thoughts
http://amychristopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/book-review-contest-and-book-give-away.html
I loved this book. I loved the story line, the characters and the location. If life seems to just be flying by and you can not seem to get a handle on things, you will relate to this character. Not many books make me giggle out loud, but I could picture Josey so clearly! HAHA! Susan May Warren could easily become one of your favorite authors!!!!

Heather at Mumblings of a Mommy Monk
http://mommymonk.blogspot.com/2008/09/get-cosey-josey.html

9/10
Melody at Kids, Cakes, Dishes, Laundry…In That Order
http://kidscakesdisheslaundry.blogspot.com/2008/09/get-cozy-josey.html
This one became one of my favorite books of all time! Each of the three series I have read so far have been written in a completely different style. Have you ever noticed that when you find an author that you love, and you read every.single.thing. they've written, that after awhile they become predictable? That just doesn't happen with Susan's books. Even within a series, I was delighted by surprise endings. But each series was so different, that I just didn't know what to expect.

Jamie at Surviving the Chaos
http://survivingthechaos.blogspot.com/2008/09/get-cozy-josey.html
As always, I love me some Susan May Warren.

Lauren at Baseballs and Bows and 5 Minutes for Mom (books)
http://baseballsandbows.blogspot.com/2008/09/get-cozy-josey.html
and
http://www.5minutesforbooks.com/267/get-cozy-joseyget-cozy-josey/
These books are so fun to read. The humor is light; the message is upbeat. What I enjoy most about these books, however, is seeing myself in them! I have never lived without indoor plumbing in a remote corner of the world; but, like Josey, I strive to do what is best for my family as a wife and mother. While I dream big, I often fall so short. I am sure many of you have experienced this as well (at least I hope I am not alone). Laughing at Josey's experiences felt a little like laughing at my own foibles. Like Josey, I must remember to forgive others, forgive myself, and then move forward while cherishing my many blessings.

9/11
Melissa at Breath of Life
http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com/2008/09/get-cozy-josey.html
I reviewed the first two books over at 5 Minutes for Books, here and here. Now we come to the third installment of this series,Get Cozy, Josey! I admit, winter is my favorite season, but even I wouldn't brave the Russian frozen tundra! Our gal Josey is still flubbing her way through marriage, motherhood, and trying to find God's plan for her life. As usual, there are laughs and tears along the way

Kate at A Simple Walk
http://asimplewalk.blogspot.com/2008/09/blog-tour-get-cozy-josey-giveaway.html
Susan May Warren does a wonderful job of supporting Josey's issues with accurate Biblical references, as well as humor and compassion. I finished this book feeling very satisfied and knowing that I truly learned a lot about myself. I love when a work of fiction can provide that feeling, and this book definitely fit that bill.

9/12
Deena at A Peek at My Bookshelf
http://deenasbooks.blogspot.com/2008/09/tour-stop-get-cozy-josey-by-susan-may.html
What makes these novels so much fun isn't just Josey--although she's a sister-in-Christ hoot and a holler! No, it's the genuine voice that comes through every word. Our real life Sis in the Lord, Susan May Warren--she lived this journey.

Amy at My Friend Amy
http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/2008/09/review-get-cozy-josey-by-susan-may.html
Don't be turned off by the cover (I know it's a little frightening)--this book is a gem. Susan May Warren is the author that convinced me that Christian chick lit could work. Josey has such a strong voice...she's funny and determined and up for a challenge! By this, the third book, she has twins to chase after and the most difficult place yet to get used to. And it all unfolds with the same heart and humor of the other two books. We meet some brand new interesting Russian characters and Josey is challenged and stretched beyond what she thought she could endure. A true page turner! I honestly wouldn't mind following Josey and Chase around in books for the rest of their lives!

9/13
Lynetta at Open Book

http://lynetta.blogspot.com/2008/09/get-cozy-josey.html
I loved this book from the moment I opened it.



And head over to Susan's blog tour post and leave a comment telling her your favorite winter time activity or winter memory and be entered to win a Get Cozy gift basket!

The basket will be loaded with Godiva chocolate, Starbucks coffee, Harry and David Moose Crunch, gourmet hot cocoa, and a fab pair of snuvvy PJs!

Wounded!


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Up Pops The Devil

Avon A (July 29, 2008)

by

Angela Benson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Angela has published nine novels, one novella, and a nonfiction writing book. Her books have appeared on national, regional and local bestseller lists. She has won several writing awards, including Best Multicultural Romance from Romantic Times magazine and the Best Contemporary Ethnic Romance from Affaire de Coeur magazine. She was also a finalist for the 2000 Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award in Multicultural Romance.

Awakening Mercy is the first book in her Genesis House series from Tyndale House Publishers. Awakening Mercy was a finalist for both the RITA Award given by Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction. The second book in the Genesis House series, Abiding Hope, was published in September 2001. Abiding Hope was awarded the Emma Award for Best Inspirational Romance presented by the Romance Slam Jam. The third book and final book of the series, Enduring Love, is not yet scheduled.

BET Books, now Harlequin's Kimani Press purchased the mass market rights to Awakening Mercy and Abiding Hope in 2000 and released mass market editions of the titles in June 2002 and June 2003, respectively.

Angela's first hardcover title, The Amen Sisters, was released in September 2005 by Walk Worthy Press. The Essence bestselling title won the Emma Award for Best Inspirational Romance. The trade paperback edition was released in November 2007.

Up Pops the Devil, published by HarperCollins (Avon A) in August 2008, is Angela's tenth novel.

Angela has a diverse education and work history. She majored in mathematics at Spelman College and Industrial Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), and worked for fifteen years as an engineer in the telecommunications industry. She holds Masters degrees in operations research and human resources development. Her most recent degree is a doctorate in instructional technology from the University of Georgia. Dr. Benson is now an associate professor of educational technology at The University of Alabama.


ABOUT THE BOOK

This is the story of Wilford "Preacher" Winters and the four women—his fiancee' Tanya, his sister Loretta, his old girlfriend Serena, and his new friend Natalie—who complicate his re-entry into society as a law-abiding Christian man after being incarcerated for two years for drug trafficking. Two hard years in prison have changed Wilford "Preacher" Winters for the better. He did his time, now he's going to "do the right thing." But the women in his life have other ideas.

Tanya, the sleek and sexy mother of his two kids, is much too comfortable with her pearls-and-Porsche lifestyle, and she'll do whatever it takes to maintain it. His sister, Loretta, kept "the business" running smoothly while Preacher was inside, and she can't believe he'd trade Easy Street bling for a nickel-and-dime dead-end job. His one-time girlfriend Serena, now married to his main man Barnard, is hiding a secret—and if past sins come to light, they'll ruin several lives and a very new, very precious friendship between Preacher and Barnard's beautiful-inside-and-out sister, Natalie.

With his world about to explode all around him, Preacher's going to need every ounce of his new-found faith to remain strong. Because it takes a lot to become a new man, sometimes even a miracle.

If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Up Pops The Devil, go HERE

Friday, September 05, 2008

“Hmm, Beautiful, in an ugly situation...”

Fab blog post by guest blogger Karen Granger on the Pearl Girls blog!

I thought, “Hmm, Beautiful, in an ugly situation...” Wow, that sums up one of the precious benefits of having a relationship with God. We all go through rugged terrain and experience ugly situations; I know you Pearl Girls can relate to this. We’ve faced ugly situations at work, at home, even in our churches. Sometimes we experience great losses, grief and heartache—really ugly situations. We can experience worry, anxiety, guilt—more ugly situations. Yet even in the midst of the ugliest situations, the Lord can bring order to our chaos, peace to our anxiety, answers to our questions, healing to our hurts, comfort to our disappointments, and hope for our futures.


Read the rest here!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back To Life by Kristen Billerbeck

My book for this blog tour hasn't shown up so I wasn't able to read Mrs Billerbeck's book. But, I am eagerly awaiting its arrival! I love the concept of the book...two unlikely (read natural enemies) people becoming friends.


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Back To Life

Avon Inspire (September 16, 2008)

by

Kristin Billerbeck



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and gained a bachelor's degree in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then, she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing.

She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit. She is a CBA bestselling author and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year for What A Girl Wants in 2004, and again in 2006 for With this Ring. Featured in the New York Times, USA Today, World Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Kristin has appeared on the Today Show. She is credited with jump-starting the inspirational chick-lit phenomenon. Most recently she has been names as a finalist for the Christy Award in the Lits category for The Trophy Wives Club.

Her other recent books include: She's All That.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Lindsey realized when she married Ron, a man 17 years her senior, that the odds were he’d see heaven before her, but she never expected to be a widow at 35. There’s too much of life left for her to just sit around in mourning. But she can’t seem to kick start the rest of her life.

That is until she gets some help from Ron’s first wife, Jane, who shows up unexpectedly at her door one day as the executor of her husband’s estate. Jane is everything Lindsey’s not… independent, stubborn… and a lot older. Plus she has one surprise after another… including a son named Ron Jr. (she insists he’s not “really” Ron’s son). But an unlikely friendship develops as each woman begins to reevaluate what is really important, and owns up to the mistakes they’ve made in the past.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Lindsey, and with the return of many of the witty characters of The Trophy Wives Club, this book is a lighthearted, relatable read for when life goes in a direction you never planned. With faith and friends, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

If you would like to read an excerpt of chapter 1 of Back To Life, go HERE